Ruminations of a Red Dirt Hussy

May 3, 2017

The formerly unflappable Mr. Johnson.

Filed under: General — Vadasmaker @ 9:10 pm

My husband is unflappable. I’ve always thought he had some kind of automatic emotional stability mechanism that kept his level of excitability somewhere between a guy who’s just finished a ChongBong full of Purple Urkel and a guy who just rolled it and smoked it like normal people.

For instance, before he decided religion was a toxic, man-made load of horse crap, we went to some churches I can only describe as rigid and benighted. But they were my people, and they probably liked me better than I liked me. Some of the memories I have from that time in my life are indelibly etched in my mind.

Once, after 45 minutes of squabbling and finger-pointing over some minute piece of church business, a vote was taken and one person disagreed with the rest of the congregation. When the group as a whole didn’t swing to the side of the nay-sayer, he stood up, looked at us all, and said, “I hope you all go to hell and I get a job shoveling the coal.” Then he stomped out and slammed the door so hard a picture of Jesus fell off the wall.

Different meeting, same church, same man. Not having learned the lesson of the previous year, someone disagreed with him on a different issue, so he got in his pickup and drove around and around the church—not the block, but the church building itself—spinning his tires and blowing his horn. The ruts in the lawn were still there a year later.

Another time, a church member stood silently in front of a visitor who had inadvertently seated himself in said member’s customary place. Everybody knew it was her place, not just because her ass-print was there, but because she’d been sitting there for 41 years. It was a tense 5 minutes until he got the hint and moved, I can tell you that.

At least as uncomfortable was the day when a divorced mother of four felt the need to stand before the entire congregation and apologize because she had recently not only (gasp!) had sex but had become pregnant.

Or when the pastor called out a married man and the single woman with whom that man was having an affair. Called them out. In church. On Sunday morning.

And then there was the time a few years later when the pastor himself had to admit he’d been having an affair with the wife of a deacon (also his best friend). For 5 years.

Not a single one of these events fazed Jim. He didn’t bat an eye. Not. One. Bat.

So. A year and a half ago, for some inexplicable reason, he went to church with me. It happened to be a day on which we had a special congregational meeting to vote on whether to officially hire a new minister.

The way it happens in civilized places is you make sure there’s a quorum, which is decided in some math-y way that escapes me. If there is a quorum, the group can just up and say, “Hired,” or someone can request an anonymous poll, which someone did. A very sedate discussion about whether this was really the man we wanted to hire and were we perhaps offering too much money ensued, after which a vote was taken, and the deal was done. 

That’s when Jim leaned over and said, “Wow. That was kind of uncomfortable.”

At least he looked like Jim. I’m pretty sure it wasn’t, what with the emotional outburst and all, but since he was my ride, I went home with him anyway.


1 Comment »

  1. Jeez, just wait till they inject a little politics from the pulpit and the fur will really fly. Keep on writing and I’ll keep on reading.


    Comment by Danny Ziegler — May 6, 2017 @ 10:11 pm | Reply

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